UT Tyler admin sees increase in students applying for other options to pay for school

The vice president of enrollment at UT Tyler gives tips for how to handle student loans after the recent Supreme Court decision.
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 9:51 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In less than a month, college students will be heading back to campus, and after the Supreme Court blocked Pres. Joe Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan many are considering their options when it comes to paying for school.

One of the first things students need to do before school starts is complete and submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application determines what type of financial aid they’re qualified for. When they apply, they could be offered two types of federal loans.

According to Federal Student Aid, the first type is subsidized loans which are available for students in need of financial assistance. The interest on these loans is paid by The U.S. Department of Education while the student is at school, for the first six months after they leave school, and when loan payments are postponed. However, the subsidized loan is only available to undergraduate students.

The second type of federal loan is unsubsidized where financial need is not required and the student is responsible for paying for the interest. This loan is available for both undergraduates and graduate students.

Whichever one you choose, it’s important to know how much you need.

“The key I tell my students is to borrow only what you need you may be offered $5,500, but maybe you don’t need all that money to do what you need to do,” said David Barron, the Vice President of Enrollment at UT Tyler.

According to SFA, when students receive their financial package they can choose which loans they want and the amount. It’s important to know that students are not penalized if they reject a loan offer.

Barron recommends federal loans since the interest rate is fixed and tends to be lower than other loans.

There are three other options schools like UT Tyler and SFA provide to their incoming and returning students that do not involve loans.

The following are:

• Grants: given to some students with high financial need and it’s money that does not need to be repaid. This is determined through the FAFSA application.

• Federal work-study: a part-time job that helps cover any education expenses while working. This includes both off-campus and on-campus. Students must apply for this option through the FAFSA application.

• Scholarships: Available for students to apply for every year, this is free money given from universities or donors.

“Largest number of applicants this last year for our scholarships... 70 to 80 percent of our students are receiving some type of aid,” said Barron. “Expanding those opportunities for students to come to school and tuition fees paid for is a great opportunity, less loan borrowing overall.”

Scholarships can range from $500 to a full ride.

Barron recommends to start applying for next year and for incoming students to apply earlier for school. If you have any questions about finding other options to pay for school, universities recommend setting an appointment with an advisor.

“Reality is the achievement of that degree is the greatest tool to break the cycle of poverty in any family, and student’s life,” said Barron.

To learn more about federal loans, financial aid, you can click here for more information.